Korean students with English teacher

Mat Wright

Centres are only awarded British Council accreditation after demonstrating that they meet the Scheme criteria. They also need to meet the following obligations to maintain their accredited status:

  • maintain a high level of service to international students in line with Scheme standards and contribute to the high reputation of UK English language teaching
  • promote and protect the name of Accreditation UK
  • share responsibility for providing alternative English language courses, at no additional cost, to students affected by the sudden closure of a local accredited provider
  • apply for re-inspection every four years
  • keep us informed about any significant change, for example a change of premises or key staff
  • pay their annual fee and provide us with an annual declaration and a copy of any promotional materials
  • respond to complaints and co-operate with the complaints process
  • operate within the spirit of the Scheme with integrity and professionalism.

How do we enforce standards?

Accredited centres are subjected to a full inspection every four years. From the annual declaration we can see if there have been any significant changes. If there are any, a spot check inspection will be arranged to ensure that the requirements of the Scheme continue to be met. Also, a percentage of accredited centres are selected at random each year to undergo an unannounced inspection (interim inspection).

Failure to meet the standards

If during an inspection of any type, a centre fails to meet any of the five section standards of the Scheme, accreditation will be placed under review or in more serious circumstances withdrawn immediately.

If a centre is placed under review, there will be an allocated period where they are given the opportunity to rectify the weaknesses identified. If this is not achieved, accreditation will be removed.

A centre that is refused accreditation after the first or subsequent inspection has the right to appeal against the decision. The appeals procedure document can be found at the bottom of the page.

Removal of accreditation

In addition to failing to meet the Scheme standards, accreditation may also be removed due to:

  • failure to undergo re-inspection when due
  • failure to declare all eligible provision or the making of any false statements on the inspection application forms or annual declaration form
  • failure to inform the British Council as soon as possible of any significant change
  • changes taking place, which lead to the centre no longer being eligible for accreditation
  • failure to ensure that users cannot infer that non-accredited provision has received accreditation
  • non-payment of accreditation, inspection or spot check fees
  • a complaint against an accredited centre following investigation.